The daughter of convicted racist Penny Sparrow has announced that her mother died in the early hours of Thursday after a lengthy battle with colon cancer.
Sparrow rose to infamy when she posted a video on the New Year’s Eve of 2016 of black beachgoers on KwaZulu-Natal’s southern coast and likened them to monkeys. Her rant went viral and resulted in her appearing in court on charges of hate speech laid by the African National Congress (ANC).
Sparrow was slapped with a hefty R150 000 fine and given two months to pay this amount. It later emerged that she was living on a government pension grant of only R1 400 per month, and was duly granted a period of two years to pay the amount off instead.
Sparrow pleaded guilty to charges of crimen injuria‚ and paid a R5 000 penalty to avoid jail time.
“We have been through so much through all of this and we are struggling… she was my mom,” Sparrow’s daughter, Charmaine Cowie, told TimesLIVE. “People will stop me in the street because I am Penny Sparrow’s daughter‚ it still happens. They tell me what my mother did was disgusting. She has become Scottburgh’s most infamous citizen.”
According to Cowie, who runs a nursery and garden servicing business, said it is hard to understand the extent to which her mother was punished for her words in 2016.
“She has accepted her guilt and accepted responsibility for what she has done and she’s been punished by the population. My family has fallen apart completely. It is so painful because it was a terrible thing she did‚ but she’s my mother.”